Violence in Caribbean Literature: Stories of Stones and Blood

Violence in Caribbean Literature: Stories of Stones and Blood

by Veronique Maisier


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Violence in Caribbean Literature: Stories of Stones and Blood, this book looks at the scene of the throwing of a stone found in five novels, and uses it as a starting point to an examination of the turmoil of history in the Caribbean, the colonial education imposed on Caribbean populations, the gendered relations that exist today in the Caribbean region, the political status and aspirations of Caribbean nations, and the psychological impact of colonization on Caribbean minds. The trope of the stone and the analysis of the violence it delivers provide the thread that conducts the linked readings of these novels, written by Dominican Jean Rhys, Trinidadian Merle Hodge, Guadeloupean Gisèle Pineau, Martinican Patrick Chamoiseau, and Jamaican-American Michelle Cliff.

The analytical and critical readings of these writers’ novels complement each other, and draw out their commonalities, echoes, and differences, while the juxtaposition of Anglophone and Francophone novels from different Caribbean nations contributes to a polyphonic understanding of the region.

While the book offers diversity in the range of countries and languages represented, and in the interdisciplinarity of the scholarly fields that intersect in its cultural discussions, it maintains its coherence by the unifying theme of violence and its representations in Caribbean literature.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780739197110
Publisher: Lexington Books
Publication date: 11/27/2014
Series: After the Empire: The Francophone World and Postcolonial France Series
Pages: 170
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Véronique Maisier is associate professor at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale where she teachers French and Francophone literature and culture.

Table of Contents

Introduction xi

Readings across the Caribbean xvi

Notes xxvi

1 The Violence of History: Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea 1

A Jagged Trajectory 4

A Shattered Identity 8

Ricochets 10

Historical Fictions 14

Rewritings 21

Notes 27

2 An Education in Violence; Merle Hodge's Crick Crack, Monkey 31

Schools for the Few 32

Cultural Stakes 36

Stone, Crime, and Punishment 41

Subjects and Subject Matters 45

Postcolonial Curriculums 48

Notes 53

3 Gendered Violence: Gisèle Pineau's The Drifting of Spirits 57

Stalemates 60

Death of a Teacher 63

Matadoras 69

Notes 75

4 The Politics of Violence: Patrick Chamoiseau's Texaco 79

From Dreams to Stones 81

Beginnings 85

The "Julot-Effect" 90

Caribbean Political Realities 94

Notes 100

5 Violent Dreams; Michelle Cliff's Abeng 105

Who are the Savages? 109

Literary Echoes 111

Ruination 114

Notes 121

Conclusion: The Age of the Stone 125

Notes 128

Bibliography 129

Index 137

About the Author 141

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